Proceedings of the Summer Course in Indian Culture and Spirituality 2017 - Day 02

Morning Session

The second day of the Summer Course in Indian Culture and Spirituality commenced with the invocatory Vedam chanting by the students of SSSIHL, Anantapur Campus at 8:30 AM. The Master of Ceremonies was Dr. Prashant Luthra, Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities, Prashanti Nilayam Campus, SSSIHL. 

The Master of Ceremonies - Dr. Prashant Luthra, Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities, Prashanti Nilayam Campus, SSSIHL
The Vedam chanting was then followed by a panel discussion. The members of the panel discussion consisted of Dr. Srinivas Srirangarajan (Director of Brindavan Campus), Dr. N. Sivakumar, Dr. Chandrasekhar, Dr. Raghunatha Sharma and Dr. Shradha Subramanian.
Panel discussion on the theme ‘Work, Worship and Wisdom’
The panel discussion was on the theme ‘Work, Worship and Wisdom’, namely Karma Marga, Bhakti Marga and Jnana Marga. This was a very informative panel discussion wherein all the faculty members discussed what Swami had spoken on these subtle and important concepts. They spoke on how faith is born of love and how faith strengthens love.

Swami had told that there were two types of devotees who can be compared with the two types of employees. One type is the part time employee and the other type is a full time employee. One should always be a full time devotee as only he/she will receive special grace, just as the full time employee gets all the benefits like Dearness allowance, Gratuity etc. Many more examples were quoted from the lives of Abraham Lincoln, Dr. A.P.J.Abdul Kalam and Antony - The violin maker. Examples from the corporate world included Rolls-Royce and the Tatas. Some more examples from the lives of the great saints Adi Shankaracharya and Sri Ramana Maharshi were also elicited.

The panel members also entertained doubts from the members of the audience and, in the process, beautiful messages of Swami were shared as answers to the questions raised. Swami had said that the intention behind the action is much more important than the action itself. Swami had also said that, “What one meets in life is destiny and how one meets it is self effort.”

Pushkara Ghumaste, Managing Director of Barclays Capital, India
The panel  discussion was then followed by a talk by Mr Pushkara Ghumaste (Managing Director of Barclays,India) on the topic “Pathway to lasting success: The Sai Way”. He said how Swami will never let go off any person who comes into His fold, even if the person tries to leave Him. He emphasized on Swami’s message, “We cannot always oblige, but we can always speak obliglingly”. He concluded by saying that every person in the Sai fold should remember that he/she has the responsibility to act in a manner that befits Swami's devotee.
Bhajan Antakshari was conducted by Sri Abhishek H (Faculty of Brindavan Campus) and Sri Siddhartha (Faculty of Prashanti Nilayam Campus)
This speech was then followed by Bhajan Antakshari. The Bhajan Antakshari was conducted by Sri Abhishek H (Faculty of Brindavan Campus) and Sri Siddhartha  (Faculty of Prashanti Nilayam Campus). The participants of this Bhajan Antakshari were students from Sri Sathya Sai Higher Secondary School and from the various campuses of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning.

The Antakshari was packaged with the beautiful experiences shared by eminent members of the Prashanti Mandir Bhajan Group. They emphasized the importance of singing Bhajans with Bhava. The Antakshari was concluded with the Divine discourse by the founder of Prashanti Bhajan Group- Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Swami emphasized the fact that music is one of the pathways to connect to God.

Evening Session

The evening session began with the summary of morning proceedings of the Summer course, given by Sai Shreya Shukla (Student of the Anantapur Campus, SSSIHL).

Miss Shukla was followed by Miss Aswathi Suresh Babu (Student of Anantapur Campus, SSSIHL). Miss Babu spoke about certain aspects of the Bhagawat Gita. The essence of her speech was on the lines of equanimity, spiritual strength, and guidance for Humans to merge into the Divine. She also spoke about Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga  and Jnana Yoga. Miss Babu quoted Swami, saying that life is similar to an ice cube, which is clear and precise but is also bound by time and melts away. Thus, this life should be used in the service of the Lord.

Anand Vardhan addresses the gathering in Sai Kulwant Hall 
The second speech was delivered by Sri K Anand Vardhan (Student of Prashanthi Nilayam Campus). He spoke on the Vedic dictum “Tyagenaike Amrutatwa Ma Nashuhu”. Sri Anand substantiated this Vedic dictum by sharing an experience which made him realise the meaning of true sacrifice.
Dr. T. Ravikumar, Warden, Brindavan Campus, SSSIHL
This speech was then followed by the speech by Dr.T. Ravikumar, Warden, Brindavan Campus, SSSIHL. He beautifully illustrated the omnipresence of our Lord by narrating his own personal experiences. He also narrated how students had experienced the Omnipresence of Swami during their stay in the Brindavan Hostel. The evening session concluded with Bhajans and Mangal Aarthi.  

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